FedDev Ontario Announces Increased Funding for Women Entrepreneurs

From: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

FedDev Ontario Announces Increased Funding for Women Entrepreneurs

News release

$264,000 to support more women-led tech businesses through Communitech’s Fierce Founders Accelerator

November 16, 2018 — Kitchener, Ontario

By supporting women in business, the Government of Canada is fostering diversity and inclusion to create an economy that works for everyone.

Today, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, announced an additional FedDev Ontario investment of $264,000 for Communitech’s Fierce Founders Accelerator to support more women-led technology start-ups with seed funding, training and mentoring to help accelerate the growth of their businesses through another cohort. This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.

This announcement builds on a previous contribution of $880,000 from FedDev Ontario to establish Fierce Founders, which has already supported 19 start-ups to date and contributed to the creation of over 60 new full-time jobs. As women entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses with help from the new funding, it is expected that 10 new jobs will be created with this additional funding.

Today’s announcement complements the Government of Canada’s first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, which will help women start and grow their businesses by improving access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.

“Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to starting and growing businesses. Today’s announcement is a great example of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting women in business while encouraging innovation and creativity.”

— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“FedDev Ontario’s continued support for the Fierce Founders Accelerator will help more women entrepreneurs develop their business skills and launch successful start-ups. This support will contribute to the globally-recognized technology cluster in the Waterloo Region and will help our women entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to market.”

— Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

“With the help of this programming, we’ve seen the number of start-up members with a woman in a leadership role rise from nine percent, to over 27 percent within three years. While there is still work to be done to support and propel women in technology, this FedDev Ontario funding is imperative to help continue the momentum we’ve seen through Fierce Founders.”

— Avvey Peters, Chief Strategy Officer, Communitech

Quick facts

  • Founded in 1997, Communitech is a Kitchener-based innovation hub that also supports women-led start-up companies and early-stage businesses through its Fierce Founder Accelerator, which is among the first in Ontario to focus exclusively on women in the technology sector.

  • Each participating company receives up to $30,000 in seed financing, matched by the business; up to $10,000 in training, mentoring and business services; and rent-free workspace at Communitech for six months.

  • Within the last three years, Communitech has seen the number of their active start-up clients that have women in leadership roles increase from nine percent to over 27 percent.

  • This additional non-repayable contribution of $264,000 brings FedDev Ontario’s total investment in Communitech’s Fierce Founders Accelerator to $1.14 million.

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